With the digital transformation and the always increasing demand for high value skills and talent profiles, onboarding is more than ever positionned as a key success factor of the employee experience.

According to Jeff Hyman who published for the training mag an article on the importance of onboarding, “Successful onboarding isn’t rocket science. It’s a period when your new employees need to be taught the things they’ll need to know to be successful.”

Several models can be used to structure the onboarding process of your employees, with an emphasis on their first 90 days that is a critical period to put them in the creative and dynamic environment that will optimize the release of their potential.

That is where digital learning can actually be very helpful to structure, diversify and enrich this onboarding experience.

1- Moving from the compulsory e-learning pack to the digital onboarding experience

It is very interesting to see that onboarding was enriched at first with the e-learning contents that was in many case provided as a pack of minimum learning contents to complete to get to know the company and to follow the regulations in different domains.

While this is a way to enrich the resources provided to newcomers, it can also be perceived as dry, not always exciting and dehumanized. That is where digital learning solutions can actually enrich the onboarding experience, replacing some old fashioned contents by state of the art and fun animations, the onboarding becoming a journey, that can be gamified and that can be easier to follow.

The compulsory contents are still part of it, but in a more engaging way. One example: the creation of an onboarding created as an adventure to follow online or in class, in which you can find the compulsory trainings, but also testimonials from other newcomers, as well as presentation of the company’s mission and so on.

2- Digital learning as a support to the pre-boarding experience

The full onboarding cycle is not just about the day your newcomer join the company. It can actually start before, in a period called the pre-boarding. While a lot of administrative effort is put on the first day, to make sure that the employee fill-in the administrative tasks that are required, some of them can be done earlier, during the pre-boarding.

Pre-boarding can typically be used to connect the future employee that will join your team with the mission of the company and with its main recent achievements.

Pre-boarding is also the period where your employee will have to prepare his first day…make sure everything is clear and that he feels welcome…before to actually enter the company. Like in hospitality business, the experience of the customer starts when he makes his booking, not just when he enters the hotel.

3- Digital learning solutions to optimize the task allocation of your HR, managers, newcomers

Digital learning solutions, especially some dedicated onboarding apps, are becoming great to allocate flawlessly the onboarding tasks to your teams, whether it is the HR, the manager or the newcomer.

Take advantage of this possibility to clarify what everyone is responsible of, accountable of and who needs to be informed. By setting up this process efficiently, you will avoid many bumps on the road that could make your newcomer feel that the onboarding was not so professional.

4- Virtual reality as an opportunity for your newcomers to discover your company

There are now many opportunities to enrich your onboarding and to give to your newcomer an experience of what your company is about.

For employees who are not in a production environment, why not creating a short VR experience to make them discover what your production environment looks like.

For those who are not on the product fields, why not creating an experience that promotes your products. You work in the car industry, not everyone can be on a circuit, but you can provide anyone with a VR experience to present your Formula 1 team, and it can be really fun.

5- Digital learning solutions to optimize sharing between newcomers

Last but not least, sharing! One thing that is very important for newcomers is to feel that they join a team, a company and that they are not alone.

Before them, there was other newcomers, and sometimes the same day they joined. Digital learning solutions, like an onboarding app, can provide a social feature that will give to your newcomers the opportunity to share in a newcomer community. This is probably one of the most important part of the onboarding. They can discover their colleagues, other departments and they can really feel that they are welcome.


Onboarding is definitely not an easy topic, but for HR and managers, it is one of the key aspects of the employee lifecycle. In a way, onboarding is the opportunity to position the talent that you have worked so hard to acquire in a positive and dynamic environment so that he/she can make a great start!

With a few customization and a great use of digital resources, especially digital learning, you can position onboarding not just as an administrative step, but as a real experience that they will remember.

In a nutshell…make it unique, make it fun, insightful, enriching and your newcomers will be in the best position to start their new journey with your company !

*Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash